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Torna la festa di san Francesco a Otranto

Torna la festa di san Francesco a Otranto

Torna come ogni anno la festa in onore di san Francesco da Paola.
Il santo è il compatrono della cittadina assieme ai beati 800 Martiri. Il 2 aprile è la solennità religiosa, ma la festa si celebra una domenica di maggio, in data che varia di anno in anno. Quest’anno cade il 19 e il 20 maggio.
Ad anni alterni, il triduo viene celebrato in cattedrale e nella parrocchia dell’Immacolata, a conclusione del quale c’è il trasferimento del simulacro nella chiesa di Santa Maria dei Martiri.

Nel giorno di domenica, poi, c’è la festa del santo con la processione che parte dal colle dei Martiri e giunge presso Porta Terra. Qui, riprendendo un antico rito che risale al 1600, il sindaco di Otranto consegna la chiave della città al santo, quella stessa chiave che il podestà dell’epoca consegnò all’arrivo della statua in legno realizzata dalla scuola veneziana. Al rientro in cattedrale, si celebra la messa presieduta dall’arcivescovo, con la partecipazione delle autorità.
L’omelia è tenuta da uno dei sacerdoti ordinati nell’anno.
Dopo la consegna delle chiavi e la processione via libera ai festeggiamenti, molto affascinanti, che si tengono in zona Minerva.
La Minerva è il quartiere nei pressi del porto e ai piedi dell’omonimo colle, sul quale si erge la chiesa della Madonna dei Martiri, nota anche come chiesa di San Francesco da Paola poiché nella leggenda del ciclo dei Martiri si
racconta come sia stato proprio il santo da Paola a edificarla.
La chiesa in cima al monte domina la zona del colle sul quale i Martiri furono decollati dagli invasori turchi.
Il patrono recitò le seguenti parole nel 1480, prima che la cittadina venisse assediata: “Otranto, città infelice, di quanti cadaveri vedo ricoperte le tue vie, di quanto sangue cristiano ti vedo inondata”. Queste parole erano indirizzate al re Alfonso d’Aragona per avvertirlo di ciò che stava accadendo a Otranto. Questa profezia, tuttavia, rimase tristemente inascoltata e i Martiri otrantini ne sono la testimonianza tangibile. Per tale ragione Otranto ha un debito di riconoscenza verso san Francesco da Paola, espresso attraverso la sua elezione a compatrono della città.

Jenny De Cicco

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